Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, csu
Pesticides are an important part of an Integrated Pest Managment (IPM) plan. The areas treated are often shared by pollinators like bees, butterflies, wasps, and some birds and bats. Pollinators are essential in the survival and propogation of many flowering plants both in farms and on the urban landscape. Fruits, vegetables, and nuts are some of the most notable foods that pollinators help fertilize. Insects are the most common pollinators, and the honey bee is heavily relied upon to perform most commercial pollination. As a pesticide applicator, you must take responsibility for reducing pesticide risks to honey bees. This can be done by doing the following things:
- Follow the pesticide label. (It IS the law, after all!)
- Use Integrated Pest Management.
- Communicate with beekeepers near sites that require pesticide application. Driftwatch may be a useful tool to help identify hive locations (linked below).
- Know if there is an established RT25 for the pesticide you want to use. This is the residual time for 25% mortality of a hive based on a foliar application. It is assumed that if no more than 25% of the hive is affected, the hive will recover. More information and the data available for active ingredients can be found HERE
The following PDF documents give more detail on how to protect honey bees and other pollinators:
The Driftwatch program is an important tool which allows applicators and producers to more effectively communicate location information about pesticide sensitive sites (beehives as well as other sites) in order to reduce risk to pollinators and sensitive crops.
Photo credit: Isu extension and outreach